There are 171,476 words in the English language. The typical 60-second commercial on a Portland radio station uses only 170 of them. So, each word a Maine small business owner selects for their ad must be chosen wisely.
Let's put that another way. Say a radio ad on a Portland station costs $100. This means each word of a commercial requires an investment of 59¢.
People with good business sense should expect to profit from every word. I can't speak about the other 171,469 words, but there are 7 words that provide very little return-on-investment...their phone number.
In the pantheon of radio advertising myths, there is a rule-of-thumb that tricks business owners not just to say their phone numbers once in their radio commercial, but three times, consuming 21 precious words and costing $12.39. There is scientific proof why this is a very, very bad investment.
Sorry, Wrong Number!
Recent research by Kaspersky Lab reveals that consumers in the digital age don't remember phone numbers, even important ones. For instance, 73% of the study's participants could not remember their own children's phone number. Fifty-seven percent of participants could not remember their own work number. Almost half of participants couldn't even remember their significant other's number
Kaspersky's research is supported by earlier research reported in the research published in the New York Times and the London Daily Telegraph, 9-out-of-10 people forget a phone number within 5 seconds of hearing it. The study goes on to reveal that 70% of people cannot remember their best friend's phone number and 50% cannot remember their parents' phone numbers
This inability to remember phone numbers is a result of a relatively new phenomenon called "digital amnesia." It seems, as we become more reliant on personal technology to remember things like phone numbers for us, we employ our own memories less to preserve that type of information.
We Don't Invest In Numbers
"We are beautifully adaptive creatures and we don't remember everything because it is not to our advantage to do so," says Dr. Kathryn Mills of UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in London. "Forgetting becomes unhelpful when it involves losing information that we need to remember. One of the reasons consumers might be less worried about remembering information is because they have connected devices that they trust. In many societies, having access to the Internet feels as stable as having access to electricity or running water," Mills concluded. In other words, our brains have become hardwired to depend on our smartphones, tablets, and laptops to remember information and to find phone numbers. As a consequence, we no longer invest the cognitive resources necessary to store this information in our brains.
Now that science has given Maine small business owners permission to keep their phone numbers out of their Portland radio commercials, those 7-21 words can be re-appropriated for a more powerful use: telling your company's story!
More Advice For Maine Small Business Owners
- Proof Positive: Ads On Portland Radio Work For Maine Small Business
- Hall Of Fame Insight For Maine Small Business Owners
- Do Teens Still Listen To Portland Radio?
- Lessons Maine Small Business Owners Can Learn From Procter & Gamble